The process of applying for college and choosing a major can be stressful and overwhelming, which is why you should be prepared to help your child get through it successfully. There’s a lot of pressure on high school students to make the right decision, but it isn’t always easy to find ways to balance personal interests and passions with getting a practical education that will help them stand out in a competitive job market.
The good news is there’s a lot you can do to provide useful guidance. If your high school graduate isn’t sure what field of study to pursue, read on to find out how you can help them choose a college major.
How can you help your high school graduate choose their college major?
There’s a lot of pressure on students to choose the right college major, but you may be able to help them make the right decision. Identifying their interests is the best way to begin a conversation about their future career. For example, if a student is interested in medicine and public policy, it may be a good idea to pursue a Bachelor of Public Health. Public health students will be qualified for a wide range of jobs in growing fields like biostatistics, epidemiology, global health, and health services management.
It’s also a good idea to think about their learning style and lifestyle, so you can be sure that they’ll be able to complete their degree. If your child intends to work during school, they may want a program that is fully or partially online, so they can easily accommodate their busy schedule. Every student is different, and there are certain educational environments that are better suited for certain areas of study. The important thing is that you leave yourself plenty of time to discuss and research the topic together.
Considering how difficult it is to get into top colleges, you should think about having your child work with an admissions consultant during the application process. An admissions professional can talk your child through their options, in terms of which universities to apply to and what major they should choose once they gain acceptance. Having someone with years of experience give your child personalized, one-on-one advice is invaluable.
How else can you help your child prepare for college?
Time management is an essential skill for those who want to succeed in a college environment, but many students aren’t taught basic time management skills. Talk to your child about what it’s like to adjust to a busy schedule and how it can affect them if they neglect their basic needs. A lack of sleep, in particular, can be a real issue for students, especially when you consider how much it can affect academic performance.
Don’t neglect the importance of taking care of your child’s mental health. The transition to college can be difficult for a lot of people, even if they aren’t moving far from home. Many schools provide mental health services to students, so make sure they’re aware of the resources available to them before they leave for college. Let them know that if they have any additional needs, you’re there to support them however you can. You might be surprised by how much of a difference this can make for your child.
There’s nothing simple about preparing to head off to college, but you can make the experience a little easier for your child by offering to help when you can. Keep in mind that this is still your child’s decision, and you can give your advice, but they ultimately need to be confident in and comfortable with the choice that they make. Preparing them for school also goes beyond helping them choose a major. You should also make time to talk to them about things like time management and mental health so they can transition as smoothly as possible to college life.